General Discussion (16)

General Discussion (16)

If there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you.  

However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment, as the GD discussion threads fills up very quickly.

Readers, all too often, go straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes – at the very least check the side-bar – before posting here, please and thank you! Your “news” may simply be a different angle on a subject already under discussion, so do, please check before posting your comment here. OR it would be helpful if you could check out the most recent thread on that subject, in case it is still open. In which case, your comment would be best placed there. Example: if your news is about the Mass or the SSPX, scroll or check the archives to find the most recent thread on that topic. If there is no thread still open, then it’s safe to post on the GD thread.

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions on this thread. Whatever. Enjoy!

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Comments (492)

  • crofterlady

    A riveting interview:


    October 31, 2019 at 4:25 pm
  • John

    With the feast of the Holy Souls today. I thought this short 8 minute sermon should remind us not to forget the “Forgotten Souls ” who have nobody to pray for them.
    The priest tells a lovely story about a devout a young French lady who spends her last franc on a mass for the Holy Souls.

    November 2, 2019 at 7:31 pm
  • graeme taylor

    Does anyone know if it is true that Card. O’Brien’s (RIP) Vicar General Philip Kerr is being removed from St Pat’s in Edinburgh?
    Please God it is true?

    November 13, 2019 at 10:27 pm
    • Vianney

      Graeme, yes, it’s true. He’s moving to Glenrothes where he will also serve the Chapel Royal at Falkland Palace. St Pat’s will be served by the Sons of Mary, Mother of Mercy congregation.

      November 21, 2019 at 7:57 pm
  • editor


    No idea. Why not ring the parish to find out?

    I did that once when I kept hearing a rumour about a priest in Edinburgh; I rang to ask for him by name. The priest who answered the phone was taken aback and stumbled over words to the effect that he wasn’t there right now. I asked when would be the best time to catch him (knowing that he’d already been caught by a local teacher…) and when he continued to stumble I took pity on him and said “So, it’s true, then, that he’s gone…” Silence. “Byeeeee!”

    Sad but true.

    November 13, 2019 at 11:38 pm
  • Catherine

    I would dearly like to find out from anyone if they think I am over-reacting but my childen (14 and 16) want to watch Die Hard. They wanted to watch the latest one and now they have agreed to watch the first one. I’ve never watched it so, they say the first one is not that bad, “even their two Catholic friends are allowed to watch Die Hard.” I would love a safe list of movies that my children could watch, it would be life easier. Any opinions on the matter is much appreciated.

    November 19, 2019 at 6:59 pm
    • Michaela


      I have never watched any film like Die Hard but I’ve seen trailers and it is the usual violent rubbish. I don’t have children of that age, but I would not be happy if my teens actually found enjoyment in that sort of stuff. Also, it’s very rare for these modern films not to have sexual content.

      Just because their “Catholic friends” are allowed to watch it doesn’t mean anything these days. Most Catholic parents don’t care what their children are watching, as long as they’re out of the road and not bothering them! The days when Catholic parents applied Catholic standards in that way, to films and books, are long gone. You are a refreshing exception.

      Having said all that, if this is the usual stuff, then you may be forced to let them watch it – if they are immature, and at 14 and 16 they must be – then being strict about this sort of thing might drive them away altogether. It’s Hobson’s Choice, really – risk them losing the faith through watching unedifying films, or risk losing it because they think you’re too strict. I’d say that’s one for their Guardian Angels, LOL! Let them watch and just pray they are not too badly affected.

      November 19, 2019 at 7:13 pm
    • editor


      Michaela’s reply to you has given me quite a bit to think about.

      Firstly, I totally agree with her that, essentially, you are fighting a losing battle by resisting this sort of film if your children are quoting “Catholic friends” who get to watch them. Most parents are “go along to get along” types, sometimes thinking that they are preparing their children for life in the big bad world. The idea that it is a sin to watch impure or otherwise unedifying material, is old-fashioned in these (enlightened) days.

      It has long been my observation, that a great deal of the fault for this laxity in Catholic families – indeed the majority of the blame – lies with the clergy.

      I attend the Traditional Latin Mass and even there, I have yet to hear much guidance from the pulpit, of a practical nature, for young people.

      While the children where I attend Mass are mostly well behaved, I watch some either fidgeting during the sermon or playing with various items; I was distracted recently by a father who handed his watch as a plaything to his already fidgety son.

      The one exception to this inattention/boredom during sermons was on the recent First Communion day when the priest spoke about things relevant to the First Communicants – naming typical sins, disobedience etc. and I was delighted to see my six year old Great-Niece turn her head and listen closely to the priest.

      Teenagers in that congregation, however, are not hearing about the need for careful viewing – there is a rather naïve assumption that nobody has a TV (or shouldn’t have – ridiculous) and no teenager in that congregation would dream of going online! Thus, they are all safe. Gimme strength. Nor are the parents exhorted to be strict. It’s very sad and compounds the problem for good parents because even the best of children need to hear the sound teaching of parents reinforced by priests – otherwise they write it off as their parents being too hard on them.

      So, I’d be tempted to ask your priest to visit this thread and read these comments. I’d be happy to answer his questions!

      November 19, 2019 at 8:11 pm
    • gabriel syme


      You are not over-reacting, it is natural and responsible for any parent to wish to ensure their children only view suitable material.

      I believe the original Die Hard(1988) was originally Rated “18” but was subsequently revised to “15”.

      The plot is that a Policeman is travelling to attend a Christmas Party with his estranged wife, hoping to reconcile with her. The party is thrown by her employer in an office block. On arrival, the Policeman and party guests become caught up in a take-over of the building, by a group claiming to be terrorists but whose real aim is to steal from the buildings bank vaults.

      The Police start a siege of the building and the story largely concerns the cat-and-mouse interaction between the lone Policeman inside and the takeover group trying to catch him (because he is a fly in their ointment).

      The film is violent with a lot of shooting, but pitched in an exciting way (if that makes sense) not in a sadistic or brutal fashion. It is a “action” film aimed at the male psyche. This is the main reason why the film received 15/18 rating. The film is realistic in that there are some other adult themes, such as a few swear words, but contains nothing I would describe as being morally subversive or offensive (such as blasphemy, homosexuality or gratuitous nudity/sex).

      There are a few elements of genuine humour in the film. Although it is undoubtedly for a mature audience, ultimately the themes are positive: reconciliation and the bravery of a lone hero trying to do what is right.

      It is also reassuring that the film was made some time ago, before a lot of modern problems such as Godlessness and LGBT madness took hold of society. Accordingly, no such rubbish features in the film. If it was made today, there would undoubtedly be a “gay” character or a few digs at religion etc.

      Knowing how mature, responsible and level headed the young men in question are, I would not be concerned about them watching it, if it was my decision. They are of course mature, moral individuals easily able to discern that the negative themes (violence, theft) are wrong and to identify the positive elements (as above).

      They will not be negatively influenced by the film in any way, nor have their Christian values undermined or called in question.

      However, of course it is not my decision, but yours!

      Why not watch the film with them, both to reassure yourself and ensure viewing can quickly be curtailed if you object to the content? (I remember my Dad watching a film with me when I was of a similar age, for exactly this reason.)

      The film has good acting performances by Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman.

      Others have made good points too, especially the difficulty parents have in finding balance between rightly banning unsuitable films, and being overly strict which might mean children do not take advice in future but instead seek to watch things in secret.

      November 20, 2019 at 11:29 am
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        Your remark about the young people watching being mature, responsible etc so therefore unaffected is very surprising.

        Our tendency to sins of the flesh has nothing to do with our level of maturity etc. but a weakness in our human nature following that Original Sin of our first parents. Not for nothing does Scripture record that after their act of disobedience/pride “they realised they were naked” (and hid).

        We are ALL supposed to protect ourselves from the danger of falling into sexual sin and from what I’ve seen of modern films, there isn’t a writer, producer, director who is capable to creating a film which does not include explicit sexual content and vile language – including the Holy Name of Jesus, used as a profanity.

        As for removing the temptation to watching things in secret – the answer is to create in children, from their earliest days, a “Catholic sense” a “Catholic culture” so that they are not attracted to immodesty and impurity and, in fact, are repulsed by it. Parents watching bad films which contain impurity and blasphemy, merely serves to reinforce the deadening of conscience to which such recreational activities lead.

        November 20, 2019 at 4:18 pm
      • gabriel syme


        Our tendency to sins of the flesh has nothing to do with our level of maturity etc. but a weakness in our human nature following that Original Sin of our first parents

        I agree with what you say here, but in my post I identified that the specific film in question is not problematic regarding depictions of sexual sin or impurity. The plot is about an attempted robbery on a grand scheme.

        I completely agree that impurity is a danger to anyone, regardless of their level of maturity.

        When I said that people would not be badly affected by this specific film, I meant its unlikely they would be led toward theft and gun violence as a result!

        the answer is to create in children, from their earliest days, a “Catholic sense” a “Catholic culture” so that they are not attracted to immodesty and impurity and, in fact, are repulsed by it.

        This is a good point and something completely missing from the mainstream Church now. I remember having my eyes opened by the traditional notions that we should hate sin and be repulsed by it.

        November 21, 2019 at 7:51 am
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        I met a young non-Catholic mother of two daughters some years ago when I lived in Aberdeen. She told me about her interaction with her daughters’ non-denominational primary school Head Teacher when she asked that her children not have to undress/dress for PE lessons in front of others (I’m not sure if she meant in the presence of boys or if she was asking for complete privacy – memory not 100% and this was quite some years ago.)

        The 26 year old mother was asked by a very puzzled Head Teacher why she wasn’t happy with her children undressing along with everyone else, and when mother replied that she wanted her daughters to learn modesty, the Head’s look switched from puzzled to incredulous. She glanced at the other staff member present and repeated… modesty? As if the parent has asked that her daughters be allowed to engage in drug dealing…

        That’s now the way it is within the Church. Remember, that young mother was not a Catholic at the time, although she was, in due course, received into the Church. Sadly, she later lapsed, singularly unimpressed with what she was witnessing. I’ll put it no more strongly than that.

        I’ve lost touch with her, unfortunately, because she emigrated to far flung places, but I’d ask everyone to pray for her. She was an enthusiastic convert who became very disillusioned, and she had lapsed before she left the UK.

        My point is, however, that unless young people are inculcated with a truly Catholic sense of modesty, in speech, dress, behaviour etc then they will not recognise anything wrong in films and books when they encounter impurity, blasphemy and whatever other immodesty is on offer from the “entertainment” industry.

        Parents, like teachers, need to avoid the danger of wishing to be as tolerant as possible, not to incur the disapproval of their offspring. It is very easy for our consciences to become dulled and eventually deadened. We can see that wholesale on a national, if not worldwide, scale with the way behaviours, previously unthinkable and even illegal, are now tolerated and approved. LGBT+ springs to mind, but also divorce and “remarriage”, and promiscuity in general. Young people think all of the this is normal, so Catholic parents must grit their teeth and be prepared to seem out of touch, as they educate their children.

        In short, we need to make sure that young people understand the need, not to think like their allegedly Catholic friends, but to think like God.

        It was only when they did that, that Adam & Eve hid out of shame for their prideful disobedience, their rebellion (sin) against God’s moral law.

        Sorry if this comes across as a sermon but they won’t let us women be priests… We will now stand and sing all verses of Faith of our Fathers 😀

        November 21, 2019 at 10:04 am
  • crofterlady

    Catherine, I’ve just asked one of my grown up sons about it and herewith his answer:

    ” I think it has a fair amount of violence (but nothing nasty, just fighting and shooting etc), otherwise I think that’s about it.”

    I’ve further asked him about impurity, so when he replies, I’ll let you know.

    November 19, 2019 at 9:15 pm
  • crofterlady

    My son’s reply about the impurity question:

    “Not that I recall, but it has been so long I can’t remember.”

    November 19, 2019 at 9:17 pm
    • editor


      I’ve now discovered that Our Lord’s Name is taken in vain throughout.

      So, add “blasphemy” to the “impurity” question.

      As for your son’s description of the violence as “nothing nasty”… remind me to keep on his right side 😀

      November 19, 2019 at 9:47 pm
  • crofterlady

    He further said: “you used to block out the screen with your dressing gown if anything untoward came on”.

    You said: “I’ve now discovered that Our Lord’s Name is taken in vain throughout”. Oh, have you seen it? I haven’t.

    November 20, 2019 at 12:01 am
    • editor


      No, I’ve never seen that film nor do I have the slightest desire, thank you. I’m sticking with Columbo and similar… I like my murders to be violence-free, thank you very much.

      I asked a mother of a 17 year old if she knew about these films and she said that that is what she knows – the taking of Our Lord’s name in vain.

      November 20, 2019 at 12:18 am
  • crofterlady

    Here’s one review of the film:

    Amongst other unsavoury things, it says that the name of Christ is used 3 times. 3 times too much. I taught my children to bow their heads and pray if they ever heard the Lord’s name being taken in vain.

    November 20, 2019 at 12:07 am
  • Helen

    “I like my murders to be violence-free, thank you very much.”

    Absolutely hilarious! Hahaha!!

    November 20, 2019 at 10:44 am
  • RCAVictor November 20, 2019 at 10:25 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      I’ve taken a quick look at that link but although it looks interesting, my opinion about such books has remained unchanged for quite a few years now, and that opinion is – for what it’s worth – that they are unnecessary and can cause confusion.

      I have always found that the lives of the saints and the spiritual writings of the saints and Fathers of the Church, with a couple of classics thrown in (Sheen’s Life of Christ being a favourite, and the Imitation of Christ) are sufficient, at least for my simple soul. And I do mean “simple”!

      Regarding “confusion”…

      I’ve had the experience, more than once, of someone citing something about Hell or Purgatory or whatever, which they believe to be revealed truth and only after probing does it become clear that this is something they’ve read in a pamphlet or book. So, I tend to discourage people – especially at this time of massive crisis in the Church – from risking becoming even more confused! Stick with the tried and tested, is my humble advice.

      For me, just knowing that I am going to suffer pain (of any kind) for all eternity, is all I need to know about Hell. That fact alone keeps me in the confession queue – regularly… 😀

      Having said all that, if you go ahead and purchase a copy, let us know if you found it helpful or not – and what would be very helpful to know would be, whether the author’s opinions about Hell chime with Catholic dogma… or not…

      November 21, 2019 at 12:17 am
      • RCAVictor


        Thanks for that – I did read the Inferno in college, but as the old joke goes, “If you remember what you did in college, were you really there?”

        And the analysis of it was probably through the lens of a leftist professor, to boot.

        If I do purchase it, I will dutifully return and write a book report. Meanwhile, regarding Bp. Sheen’s book Life of Christ, I received that book as a present several years ago, but was eventually turned off by his analogies, which I thought were very contrived, so I never finished it.

        However, I did think his book on Communism was superb (I forget the title – haven’t had my coffee yet).

        November 21, 2019 at 3:59 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        I can’t think of any contrived analogies in Sheen’s Life of Christ, so I would be interested if you can remember one to share here.

        I think the way he can apply the various Gospel incidents and reports to contemporary life is masterful. But then, as I keep telling you, I really am a simple gal, so if I’ve not recognised a contrived analogy, I’d like to be enlightened immediately if not sooner!

        November 21, 2019 at 5:43 pm
      • RCAVictor


        I no longer have the book, so I am unable to contrive a response to your request! Now I’m facing the deduction of zeroes from my paycheck…..

        November 21, 2019 at 7:10 pm
      • editor November 21, 2019 at 9:03 pm
  • editor

    The following news just in from the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Officer…

    On Tuesday 26th November around 5pm the Scottish Parliament will host a debate on the positive contribution of Catholic Schools in Scotland. The briefing, below, has been sent to every MSP in advance of the debate, which will be led by Elaine Smith MSP.

    Please contact your MSP and encourage them to attend. You can find their contact details here: Many MSPs are also active on Twitter.

    You might also want to tell your MSP about the positive contribution of Catholic schools in your area and encourage them to speak about this during the debate.

    You can watch the debate live on Parliament TV here:

    Thank you for your support.

    Catholic schools, good for Scotland!

    Kindest regards

    Anthony Horan
    Catholic Parliamentary Office

    If it’s possible to post a copy of the video debate, I will do so as a fresh thread. I just can’t wait to hear what the MSP & Co consider to be a “positive contribution” from Catholic schools given that they do not, emphatically do not, teach the Catholic religion. Watch this space!

    N O T I C E. . .

    This thread has almost reached the 500 mark, so will be closing soon. I’ll open the new GD thread soon, so be aware, so that you are not cut off in mid sentence!

    November 22, 2019 at 1:10 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      The one contribution which Catholic schools have made to Scotland is keeping the debate on bigotry alive and how Catholic schools are to blame for it! LOL! I can’t wait to see that debate!

      November 22, 2019 at 2:18 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    Are Catholics allowed to join the Odd Fellows?

    November 27, 2019 at 7:19 pm
    • editor


      I marvel at y our ability to find the most obscure information – I’ve never heard of the Odd Fellows so I assume this is they, so to speak?

      If so, sound very like the Freemasons which membership is prohibited to Catholics.

      Since your zeal is leading you towards joining some form of active service, why not look into the possibility of joining the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVDP)?

      November 27, 2019 at 8:04 pm
  • editor

    Having reached the magic number of 500 comments, I will now close this thread.

    Questions / comments for the General Discussion forum should be posted on the new thread # 17

    November 27, 2019 at 8:10 pm

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